An important part of Jamaica’s ethnomedical heritage is its root tonics. These tonics are deep decoctions of barks, leaves and roots of forest species, which are consumed mainly to build strength and vitality. The information has been to gathered on a sample of Jamaican root tonics in order to provide further understanding about these tonics and also to establish a botanical reference to the plants used.
Jamaican root tonics are made mainly by men in rural communities. Botanical analysis of 38 indigenous root tonic drinks indicates that chaney root, sarsaparilla, baceda bark, strong back, Cuphea parsonsia and Morinda royoc Iresine diffusa (nerve wist) ramoon, medina, and ginger. Since chainy root is endemic to Jamaica, these root tonics are uniquely Jamaican. Although a wide variety of plants are used in Jamaican root tonics, the method of making the tonics is the same.
The root bark is the medicinal part of Jamaica barceda
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and combating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
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